- GREAT action movie 6/14/2005 12:00:00 AM by baldmatt2001
People people people...anyone expecting Citizen Kane out of this movie needs to have their head examined. BUT...if you were looking for a thrilling, fast paced roller-coaster, that's what you will find.
For the past year, I have been seeking out alternatives to American cinema because it has become so formulaic and awful. I troll IMDb and eBay to see what else is happening in the world. Sure, B13 is derivative, but it is certainly more exciting than another "re-imagining" of a 70s cop show.
The opening sequence took my breath away. I was half-way through the film before I felt it was sage to dart to the kitchen for a drink. I said to my wife "THIS is the movie I've been searching for." Even the subtitles were good. The verbiage and spelling were very authentic and slang-conversational. It did not feel forced as many foreign films do. It was definitely subbed with the British market in mind, as some of the banter evoked thoughts of Lock, Stock or Layer Cake or Football Factory.
If I want a truly compelling story, I'll look elsewhere, but check out B13 for the some great fight scenes, excellent scenery and mind-blowing athleticism.
- Nail-biting action , thrills , spectacular scenes and plot twists 6/2/2013 12:00:00 AM by ma-cortes
Thrilling and violent movie with a phenomenal starring pair and in which Cyril Raffaelli and David Belle cast all the Stuntmen themselves . Set in the rundown ghettos of Paris in 2010, an undercover cop and ex-thug try to infiltrate a gang in order to defuse a neutron bomb . When the government learns that local kingpin (Larbi or Bibi Narceri , Sami Narceri's brother ; even though Bibi Naceri co-wrote the script, he still had to audition for the part of Taha along with other actors) has acquired a nuclear weapon , Damien (Cyril Raffaelli) and Leito (David Belle , the originator of Le Parkour ) are called upon to avoid an atomic bomb on destroying the blocks at the heart of District 13 with tactical precision and as save the city . With acrobatic skillfulness and adrenaline pumping belief in their own abilities, they throw themselves out from incredible heights, and jump from roof to roof ; locked doors and 'No Trespassing' signs become irresistible challenges . They confront their enemies in order to find out location the bomb (the bomb code is: 9293709B13) and his sister (Dany Verissimo who spent two whole days on a roof in the freezing cold in ripped clothes, handcuffed to a bomb and Luc Besson wrote the part of Lola specifically for her) who was formerly kidnapped , but someone is still after them and are forced to once again take up violent means to survive .
¨13th District¨ is an exciting film that contains suspense , thrills, noisy action , shootouts and violent fights . The main couple is unabashed in its dedication to fanboy stunt work . From the beginning to the final the noisy action and fast movement is unstopped , including breathtaking scenes in which bounds and leaps through apartments blocks and at moments give the impression that they are flying . Cyril Raffaelli as a hard-rock , two-fisted agent is top-notch . This is a frantic rehash of ¨Escape from NY¨ , rightly realized in French style . The highlights of the movie are The Parkour , also known in USA as Free Running whose origin was in ¨Yamasaki¨ film directed by Ariel Zeitoun , Julien Seri and also produced by Luc Besson with his production company called ¨EuropaCorps¨ . Duo protagonist more than make up for in an skill to soar across a rolling medley highrise flats blocks . The way in which the actors prove this abilities , is in fact an activity called Parkour and was invented by David Belle himself , influenced by his father Raymond Belle . Cyril Raffaelli and David Belle had three months to prepare all their Parkour stunts for the film . There weren't any special effects , wire-work, computer graphics... used in 90% of the Parkour scenes . Good cinematography by cameraman Manuel Teran using Steadicam and zooms with numerous locations from Paris slums . The musician Da Octopuss creates a stirring, moving soundtrack fitting to frantic action . Lavishly produced by the successful French producer and director Luc Besson . The flick was stunningly realized by the habitual cameraman, Pierre Morel in his first film, -the second was the successful ¨Taken¨- , though Alexandre Aja was originally hired to direct the movie the first . Filmmaker Pierre gives the action a dance-like quality and the whole movie took 10 months for production , idea, script, casting, filming, etc , as from January 2004 to October 2004 . Followed by "District 13: Ultimatum" by Patrick Alessandrin again with Cyril Raffaelli as Capt. Damien Tomaso , David Belle as Le?to , Philippe Torreton as Le Président De la République and as well as starring in the film, Cyril Raffaelli also choreographed all the fight sequences ; however David Belle didn't practice all his Parkour stunts , most of the ones that you see in the film were of him performing the stunt for the first time . Rating: Better than average, well worth seeing , this is a highly agreeable action movie . The picture will appeal to explosive action fans
- Pure Adrenaline ? One of the Best Action Movies I Have Recently Seen 11/17/2006 12:00:00 AM by claudio_carvalho
In 2010, the dangerous districts in the periphery of Paris are surrounded by walls, and the dwellers do not have school, hospital and even police in the area, which are ruled by drug lords. In the 13th District, Leito (David Belle) is a honest man that lives in a clean building and does not permit drug dealers nearby his neighborhood. When he destroys one million Euros in heroin of Taha Bemamud (Larbi Naceri), the criminal abducts Leito's sister Lola (Dany Veríssimo) and the corrupt police arrests Leito. Six months later, the tough and honest Capt. Damien Tomaso (Cyril Raffaelli) is assigned to find and deactivate a stolen bomb that might destroy the 13th District and the two million dwellers. Together with Leito, they have to face the gang of Taha and disclose a despicable secret behind the robbery of the bomb.
The unknown "Banlieue 13" was one of the best surprises I have had this year. It is pure adrenaline and certainly one of the best action movies I have recently seen. The greatest attractions are the performances of David Belle and Cyril Raffaelli. I have just read in IMDb that David Belle is co-inventor of the sport known as Parkour, "which consists of moving freely in a natural area, including climbing on buildings and taking on whatever is in the way". Cyril Raffaelli is also stunt coordinator and stunt. Together, they are awesome, with amazing choreography that recalls Jackie Chan when he was young, and certainly are among the best I have ever seen in the cinema. The direction and the story are also good, hooking the attention until the very last scene. Just as a curiosity, in the beginning of the movie, the guys are watching a Brazilian soap-opera with Regina Duarte and Ant?nio Fagundes. My vote is eight.
Title (Brazil): "B13 - 13o Distrito" ("B13 - 13th District")
- The Perfect Action Movie 6/12/2006 12:00:00 AM by lyre
This film takes everything that has been learned in the last 100 years about how to make an action movie and distills it into a perfect 85 minutes.
The stars are true athletes, including David Belle, the co-founder of the sport of Parkour. He has spent 18 years perfecting his skills, which means that most of the spectacular stunts are real, not done with special effects.
The plot is action-movie perfect as well: A criminal kingpin, a damsel in distress, an honest cop, a noble criminal, corrupt officials, double crosses, nearly superhuman enemies. And at stake: honor, truth and the lives of millions.
There are hardly any extraneous elements, few scenes that don't make sense, no characters that do something really stupid when they should have known better. Every loose end is wrapped up in a very satisfying way. And there's even meaningful social commentary. All (though I said it before) in 85 minutes.
Why do other action movies drag on for two or even three hours and have long slow spots? Why do other action movies have plot holes big enough to walk through? Why do some of them lack drama, get silly and end up feeling like a waste of time? Why can't they all be as taut and tightly written as this one?
Because it's hard. It's hard to reach this level of perfection. It's hard to make a movie in which every scene counts. It's hard to get the plot, the acting, the action and the emotions right.
It's so hard it took 100 years. But here it is. Don't miss it.
- Great ACTION film (don't go looking for deep plot) 10/12/2005 12:00:00 AM by simon_booth
The French answer to Ong Bak coulda been the final word, with superior production values and a serviceable if not exactly profound story-line (how much story can you get in an 80 minute film that's 50% action though?). Unfortunately it's let down by "Hollywood style" over-editing of the action scenes. David Belle & Cyril Raffaelli have *real* skills, and showing them off is the raison de etre of the film - so why chop most of the best moves into 3 separate shots, so we can't really appreciate them? It's a tribute to the performers and Raffaelli's choreography that they're still amazing to watch! I'd love to see a re-edit that simply removes the unnecessary insert shots and shows the moves in their full glory. Despite this objection, I still rate the film 8/10 :)